I weep. I'm Welsh.
There are all sorts of things that make me cry. Often I cry happy tears. When a sportsperson or team that I'm supporting wins or sets a record the tears can well up. Certain bits of music set me off. Singing in church can leave me damp eyed.
There are sad tears as well. Some result from self-pity. From the the feeling that it's just not fair. Some are from sympathy for the people I love. Feeling sorry for one of my children. Wanting to be able to end their misery but impotent to do so.
What I think most of my tears have in common is that they are about me. Rarely does my compassion stretch beyond my immediate family.
I have been humbled this week to hear people crying.
We've been having a week of prayer at church and it's caused people to weep. Some have wept because they have been reminded of how deeply they are loved by God in the Lord Jesus, despite their sin. Others have wept because the people they love face God's righteous anger and reject His gracious love. Others have wept because their hearts ache for the broken, lost people who live around them. That's why Jesus cries.
Famously he cries outside the tomb of his friend Lazarus. The shortest verse in the Bible. John 11:35: "Jesus wept." Tears of indignation and sympathy at the pain that sin and death have brought into the world. A pain that he suffers and dies to defeat at the cross.
But Jesus also cries for the people who will reject him. The very population of the city that was at the heart of God's plans in the Old Testament, Jerusalem. Luke records in his gospel:
'As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes."' (Luke 19:41-42)
Such is Jesus compassion that he is moved in love for those who have chosen to harden their hearts to him. He cries for those who are going to call for his crucifixion. There is no self-righteous superiority in him. Just a deep concern for others. A love that moves him to pity even his most bitter enemies.
I'm praying today that my sorrow might be less self-centred. That the tears that I shed might be more driven by love for others. That I might seek my own comfort and convenience less. That I might weep out of compassion for the lost.